Honoring Westport Volunteer Cathy Malkin

Volunteer role: Animal Reiki practitioner

Length of service: 3 months

I started volunteering because…I love animals and want to help shelter animals with animal Reiki and animal communication.

My favorite part of volunteering is…seeing the animals relax when I offer them Reiki, which is meditating with them for healing. (Reiki is an energy healing technique that promotes relaxation and reduces stress and anxiety through gentle touch.)

My most memorable volunteer experience is…helping Machin the ferret with Reiki because he had dental issues, and then seeing him find his forever home.

I love animals because…they are wise and loving. They are our spiritual teachers, healers and guides who love us unconditionally and without judgment.

I know I am making a difference when…I see anxious animals become relaxed and more trusting.

The little things I do to help make a pets’ stay at CHS better include…sharing Reiki and giving them “pep talks” to assure them they are safe and the CHS team is doing its best to find them their purr-fect forever home.

My advice for new volunteers is…take time to observe the animal and let them show you how they want to interact with you.

My favorite things to do outside of CHS include…spending time with my two cats, Mona Marie and Elvis, and raising my puppy Yogi Bear and taking him on walks.

My hidden talent is…I’m an animal muse who is able to translate animals’ thoughts, feelings and viewpoints so they can be better understood.

I think volunteerism is important because…being of service to the animals is good for them and me!